Day 2 | Dec 7   14.15 - 15.45

Advancing business engagement in a landscape approach

The Ministry of Economic Affairs of The Netherlands, The Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative (EcoAgriculture Partners), Rainforest Alliance, Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries (HIVOS)


New multi-stakeholder landscape initiatives are emerging as an operational framework to address key risks such as deforestation and water scarcity, and support economic growth, food production, ecosystem conservation, and livelihoods across entire landscapes. However, a crucial player in these issues – business, serving local, national and international markets – has been largely absent. Of 104 integrated landscape initiatives documented in Latin America by the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature initiative, only 24 involved business; of 87 initiatives in Africa, only 10 did so.

Creating landscapes that provide the full range of services to production, conservation and rural livelihoods, while mitigating greenhouse gas emission, requires collaborative action at scale. The agricultural sector contributes more than 30% of greenhouse gas emissions globally and employs as much as 70% of the population in many African and Asian countries. Therefore it is essential to engage producers and other supply chain actors in climate smart practices and landscape planning

  • in order to adapt to climate change and to mitigate its impacts.
  • to achieve sustainable development goals, particularly for poverty reduction (SDG 1), ending hunger and sustainable agriculture (2), availability and sustainable use of water (6), sustainable energy (7), tackling climate change (13, sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems (15), and effective and capable institutions (16).

This session will explore the business case for public-private partnerships in landscape management. First, the role of the public sector in creating an enabling environment for innovation and investment by business will be highlighted. Next, case studies will be offered from front-running partnerships’ experience globally that exemplify the challenges and opportunities of working across scales and sectors in order to create more climate-smart and resilient landscapes for people, food production and nature.

The session will also look at the enabling environment for supporting such practices and the potential for scaling-up impact through increased private sector participation in the future.

Key questions addressed:

  1. What can be achieved in a landscape (horizontally) that cannot be achieved through a supply chain (vertically)?
  2. How are we assessing the business case of a landscape approach for all actors, from big business to smallholder farmers and government?
  3. What are the most important springboards or leverage points for engaging business?

Background reading:

Reducing Risk: Landscape Approaches to Sustainable Sourcing

Defining integrated landscape management for policy makers

Nambian Ministry of Environment and Tourism and Fauna & Flora International. 2012. Landscape Level Assessment of Biodiversity Vulnerability and Landuse in the Uranium Province of the Central Namibia. Windhoek, Namibia

Olam and Rainforest Alliance case study

Biodiversity Business from India to Peru: Insights in successes and challenges